Mines d'Argent - St-Jean-Engelsbourg

Useful Information

Location: Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, Val d'Argent.
Open: MAR to JUN Tue-Sun 10-18.
JUL to AUG daily 10-20.
SEP to NOV Tue-Sun 10-18.
Closed 01-MAY.
Fee: Museum: Adults EUR 8.
Mine Tour: Adults EUR 12, Children (0-12) EUR 9.
Groups(10+): Adults EUR 8, Children EUR 6.
Spéléo XVIe: per Person EUR 20.
Immersion Plus: per Person EUR 25.
Grande Colonne: per Person EUR 32.
Puits du Fond: per Person EUR 42.
Colonne Saint-Jean: per Person EUR 55.
L'intégrale: per Person EUR 70.
Classification: MineSilver Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: Spéléo XVIe: D=90 min.
Immersion Plus: D=105 min.
Grande Colonne: D=2 h.
Puits du Fond: D=3 h.
Colonne Saint-Jean: D=4 h.
L'intégrale: D=6 h.
Address: Parc Tellure, Lieu-dit Tellure, 68160 Sainte Marie aux Mines, Tel: +33-389-499830. E-mail: contact
Communauté de Communes du Val d'Argent, 11 a rue Maurice Burrus, 68160 Sainte-Croix-aux-mines, Tel: +33-389-588345, Fax: +33-389-586984.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


JUN-2007 scheduled inauguration.
10th cty begin of mining.
1502 discovery of silver ores in the Neuberg causes silver rush.
1517 mining law issued by Emperor Maximilian.
1545 more than 3.000 miners working in the mines.


Tellure is a sort of theme park and mining museum with underground tours. This area of the Alsace was mined for silver during centuries. The newly built Visitor Center allows access to several parts of the historic mine tunnels. The guided tours show a well preserved 16th century silver mine. The Visitor Center offers an exhibition, multimedia displays, movies and various group activities, mainly intended for school classes. It is the starting point for a regular show mine tour and various "wild" mine tours, where participants visit historic mine tunnels equipped with helmet, headlamp, rubber boots, and old clothes. This mine parts are kept safe, which is important for historic mines, but not developed with trails and electric light. The experience is comparable to a visit to a working mine.

The mining started in Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines in the 10th century. It then spread over the whole valley which was named Val d'Argent, because it was the location of the richest and oldest silver mining in the world. Today more than 1000 abandoned silver mines can be found in the valley.

One of the most important years was 1502, when important silver ore bodies were discovered on the Neuenberg. They caused the so-called Val d'Argent silver rush, when miners from all over started to dig for silver. This area was Austrian at this time, the Elsass (Alsace) belonged to the Austrian Empire, was owned by the House of Habsburg. The Emperor Maximilian issued a mining law in 1517, which was valid for Alsace and Schwarzwald (Black Forest). 83 articles ruled the allocation of mines, the work and the burdens of the miners. As this mining law was in effect, the ordinary jurisdiction (especially tax law) was not relevant for the miners.